Contact: Phana District Tel. -
Wat Phra Lao Thep Nimit is located along the side of the highway number 2134, which is approximately 2 kilometers from the city center of Phana District. It was formerly called Wat Si Pho Chaya Ram Kam Wadee. Its ordination hall is a Lanna-style architecture with “Phra Lao Thep Nimit,” a respectable Buddha image, housed inside as the principal Buddha image.
“Phra Lao Thep Nimit” is a Buddha image in the attitude of subduing Mara, sitting cross-legs with one top of another. It is 2.85 meters wide in its lap and is 2.70 meters tall. It is considered as the respectable Buddha image of Amnat Charoen Province. It is the principal Buddha image housed inside the ordination hall of Wat Phra Lao Thep Nimit in Phana Sub-district, Phana District, Amnat Charoen Province. According to the history, the ancestors, who founded Ban Phana, immigrated and settled down the village at the high forest on the bank of Kut Bueng Yai or Kut Phra Lao. At present, “Phra Kru Thi,” a monk respected by the villagers, has asked people to collaborate the establishment of the temple on the bank of Kut Bueng Yai. This temple is named “Wat Si Pho Chaya Ram Kam Wadee” and has Phra Kru Thi as the first abbot after the complete construction in 1720.
It is said that ‘Phra Lao Thep Nimit’ is the most beautiful Buddha image in northeast region. It is the Buddha image in Laotian style designed by the school of Vientiane craftsmen. It is influenced by Lanna style and seems to possess a lot of local craftsmen’s skill; for example, the face, the extended halo flame, as well as the proportion of lap and feet. These are similar to the Buddha images built in the late of 23rd to 25th Buddhist century.
The Buddha image’s spectacular appearance makes it look like smiling and welcoming those who come to worship. People, therefore, named it “Phra Lao,” which means beautiful as if being sharpened by hand (Lao). Later, Wat Si Pho Chaya Ram Kam Wadee, where Phra Lao is housed, was renamed Wat Phra Lao, as a result of the Buddha image’s popularity. The village that renamed the temple also renamed itself as Ban Phra Lao. Until 1898, Than Chao Kun Phra Ubali Kunupamacharn (Chan Sirichantho), the famous instructor in Ubon Ratchathani Province and northeast region, added the name behind the former name into “Phra Lap Thep Nimit,” which means “the Buddha image which is beautiful as if being created by angels.” Phra Lao Thep Nimit is not only spectacular in Buddhist art, but it is also believed that every night of Buddhist holy days—the 7th day, the 8th day, the 14th day, and the 15th day, Phra Lao Thep Nimit will show its power. There will be whitish green light floating from the ordination hall in the quiet night. As for how to worship Phra Lao Thep Nimit, it is said that those who wish for success in life, especially those who wish to have children, after worshipping Phra Lao Thep Nimit, will become successful as they wish. The things that are used for worshipping are flowers, incenses, candles, and wax castles.
Wat Phra Lao Thep Nimit is located approximately 40 kilometers from the city center of the province and is only 2 kilometers from Phana District Office. The transportation is quite convenient.